I used to have a difficult time cramming every single bit of what I needed to teach into my day. Now, it’s not so bad. How do I get it all done? Here’s a little glimpse into my day.
During the summer, I get together with my team and we plan out our year. This summer, we used Google Docs to make it easier. As we talked, more than one person could be typing in a section at a time. If you don’t teach everything exactly like your team, you could always use this for yourself. Download the blank to get started.
After you’ve made your pacing guide for the year, it’s easy to refer to. You can also very easily move things around with your team if you decide to change your plan midyear. Each week, I make sure that my lesson plans are done by Thursday so I have at least 3 days to get ready for the next week.
I also make daily, yes I said daily, powerpoints for my lesson. These keep me on track throughout the reading lesson since that is a large majority of my day. I easily flow through the lesson and have ALL of our skills included.
I also have our groups included in these powerpoints. I do a tweaked version of the Daily 5. I set the groups to a certain time in the powerpoint and my kids know that when the slide changes with the sound effect, they know it’s time to clean up and come back to the rug. As they are cleaning up, I keep my group at my table for that extra one to two minutes and don’t waste any idle time waiting for the rest of the classroom to get to the rug. This is what my group slide looks like.
|You can click to download an editable version.|
It saves me so much time throughout the rest of the day by using a powerpoint with everything in it. I even link to pdfs, videos and so on. This also saves on time from me finding it on my computer, opening it up and so on. Once, I’ve made a particular powerpoint on a lesson, I don’t have to make it again. I just tweak it from year to year.
Every week, I pick ONE night to do my copying, planning, pulling, figuring out and my staring at the wall. Just ONE. I don’t choose any other days in the week to do any of that. A few years ago, I chose Thursday to stay. However, my Thursday after school I started working one of our clubs and doing after school care so it was too much in one afternoon. I decided to pick Friday after that.
Every Friday, I pull out my pacing guide (or open it up rather) and look at what’s ahead for the next week. I also check out how my kids did during our current week. I use this list to keep me on track.
This keeps me on track of what I need to do. I simply print this ONCE and laminate it. If you don’t want to laminate it, I’ve also put mine in a page protector and used a vis-à-vis to write on it with.
The last thing I do to make sure I CRAM it all in is to use my time wisely. In a nutshell, this means I don’t read from a basal or teacher’s edition or whatever it is that you use. Most of the waste of paper in these books don’t help our kids. I use what I know works for my kids. I put down the book. As I mentioned earlier, I use powerpoints to help guide my day. I also use these for morning meeting, math, and possibly for science/social studies.
I hope that helped you a little bit with fitting it all in. I know schedules and routines can be crazy, but with a little planning and thinking outside of the box to not waste time, you should be able to get most of what you want to accomplish done.